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Kathleen Rice’s congressional campaign, for the third consecutive day, has announced a sought-after local endorsement for the upcoming Democratic primary.
Wayne Hall, mayor of the 4th district’s largest incorporated village – Hempstead – said Thursday that he will back Rice, the Nassau district attorney, over her opponent, County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams.
Hall said in a statement released by Rice’s campaign that “no county official has been more committed to the safety and future of Hempstead than Kathleen Rice.” He cited her office’s work helping develop youth programs to steer residents away from crime and in targeting illegal firearms.
Rice and Hall have long had a close working relationship. Just last month, they appeared together to celebrate the third anniversary of Nassau’s youth court program in Hempstead Village.
Administered by the DA’s office, the court provides a forum that allows youth who commit nonviolent crimes to be judged by their peers and given a second chance at a clean record.
And six years ago, Rice’s office spearheaded a high-profile enforcement effort to reduce drug-dealing and violence on Terrace Avenue in the Village.
“While our work and partnerships in Hempstead have been hallmarks of our DA administration,” Rice said of Hall, “that advocacy won’t change when I fight for Hempstead in Washington.”
Abrahams, who represents nearby Freeport, had sought Hall’s endorsement in the 4th district primary to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). But he said Thursday that he doesn’t begrudge any officials for deciding to back other candidates.
“The greatest endorsement is from the voters of the district,” Abrahams said. “I focus my campaign on trying to connect with voters.”
Hall said by phone Thursday that he had planned to support Rice “from the beginning.”
“He’s a good guy,” Hall said of Abrahams, “but my mind was made up for Kathleen.”
Earlier this week, Rice, of Garden City, also announced endorsements from Malverne Village Mayor Patricia Norris-McDonald and he 165,000-member building trades councils of Nassau, Suffolk and New York City.